This election cycle having cumulated on my 40th birthday was an interesting one. My birthday was September 22, in case anyone forgot. The province of New Brunswick is in a major debt crisis, having $11.85 billion outstanding.1
The incumbent Progressive Conservative government ran a campaign of resource development, with the plan to explore and extract shale gas deposits. The Liberal official opposition ran a campaign of job creation by investing in infrastructure, with the central component being the borrowing of almost $1 billion to do so.
The NDP were described as “the voice of fiscal sanity” by the Telegraph-Journal.2 It marked the second campaign in a row that had the fingerprints of Dominic Cardy all over. In 2010, Dominic was the Campaign Director, having volunteered for the position and affirmed by party membership, approving an election preparedness plan at convention in 2009.
In 2011, Dominic was acclaimed the leader of the party. Yes, acclaimed. In the absence of another candidate at the close of nominations, the person appointed as Chief Electoral Officer acclaimed Dominic as leader. Dominic’s leadership was affirmed by membership at Provincial Convention in 2012, with an 82% approval rating.
I haven’t spoken publicly about this, but I had spoken with Dominic about running for leader, prior to his announcement to run. We were both attending the same church, and after service on Sunday, I brought up the subject, asking if he might run. He asked if I would support him. I said yes.
I was impartial publicly because I was co-chair of the Convention Planning Committee. And willing to speak now to this, because I believe that Dominic is the leader the NDP needs, continuing forward.
Dominic is a smart, savvy politician, one with the skills and experience to lead our province. I have known Dominic, since he was the campaign manager for John Carty’s second federal election campaign. I am happy that he has become the leader of the party.
I have been a candidate in 2006, 2010 and now 2014. I have run under the mantle of three leaders. Allison Brewer, Roger Duguay and Dominic Cardy. I intend to run in 2018 as well. It is my full hope that I can run with Dominic Cardy again.
While it is fully his decision3, in consideration and conversation with his wife, I would love to see Dominic run in the newly announced by-election in Saint John East. I would love to see the entire resources of the NDP poured into electing Dominic in this riding. We have people in Saint John East who will work tirelessly. We have people around the province who will donate time and money.
This seat was won by a Liberal, defeating an incumbent PC MLA by, count the votes again, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, nine votes. This is slim, reminding all of us that every vote counts. In a riding where 54.87% of voters participated4, the room for growth is tremendous.
And it is also a riding that has elected an NDP member in the past, in a by-election.5 This is not talked about a whole lot in NDP circles, because the MLA elected crossed the floor to McKenna’s Liberals, but the NDP had two, count them again, one, two MLAs in 1985, because of a by-election in 1985. Elizabeth Weir still hadn’t been elected. Our MLAs in 1985 were Bob Hall and Peter Trites. Bob was MLA for Tantramar.
I’m not worried about the detail that Peter Trites crossed the floor. I’m sure he had valid reasons at the time. I’m mentioning the history to acknowledge being aware of it and to point to the fact the people of Saint John East have voted NDP in the past.
I hope that Dominic will run and give the people of Saint John East a vibrant NDP option. I think Phil Comeau, the NDP candidate for the General Election is a vibrant option as well. However, having the NDP leader run and be elected would be an easy way to retain Dominic as leader. It’s not just me saying this. But friends have told me that they voted NDP for the first time because of Dominic.
Dominic has been a volunteer for the NB NDP since 2009. He has not taken salary from the party. He has been more concerned with getting the party’s finances in order, rather than personal salary considerations. He has been concerned about being able to pay staff at Provincial Office. This is 5 years of being a full-time volunteer.
His wife, Margot, is a wonderful person to work and support her family, while Dominic chases a political dream of making New Brunswick better. Having Dominic run in Saint John East would be good for the people of Saint John East. He will fight for them in the same way he has fought to rebuild the NDP. Having Dominic as MLA would be good for the people of New Brunswick. He will fight for them in the same way he worked to change the NDP.
The NDP is vibrant and strong in New Brunswick, because of Dominic Cardy. Read my piece written last year about Dominic. We are a political party, serious about making New Brunswick better. The way to do that is electing MLAs. You can help the process by donating any amount at http://www.nbndp.ca/donate/
- Canadian Taxpayers Federicton, NB Debt Clock. http://www.debtclock.ca/provincial-debtclocks/new-brunswick/new-brunswick-s-debt/
- Kelly Lamrock. Twitter. https://twitter.com/KLamrock/status/504677117523951616
- Dominic Cardy. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/dominic.cardy/posts/10154707366140545
- Elections NB General Election, September 22, 2014. http://www.gnb.ca/elections/results-resultats/2014-09-22/2014-09-22-results-e.asp
- Elections NB Byelection November 26, 1984. http://www.electionsnb.ca/content/dam/enb/pdf/By-election%20Madawaska%20Centre,%20East%20Saint%20John,%20November%2026,1984,%20Report%20of%20the%20Official%20Polling%20Results.pdf